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Pitfall II: Lost Caverns is a platforming video game originally released for the Atari 2600 video game console in 1984. It is the sequel to the popular Pitfall!. Both games were designed and written by David Crane and published by Activision. The star of the games is Pitfall Harry, an 8-bit jungle explorer. The game's plot was later remade loosely into Super Pitfall.
The original Pitfall! has Harry exploring a jungle, collecting treasures, and avoiding danger in the forms of crocodiles, scorpions, cobras, and quicksand. Although the background does not scroll until Harry reaches the edge of the screen, the game was one of the first large platform games for a home video game console. Lost Caverns stays true to the gameplay of the original but greatly expands the scope of the environment, as Harry now descends deep into the catacombs. In addition to the scrolling style of the first, this game adds the element of vertical scrolling, as when Harry falls from a cliff or flies around after grabbing onto a balloon.
While faithful in many respects to its predecessor, Lost Caverns featured numerous changes to make it play differently from the original game. Pitfall Harry has unlimited time and lives, making it impossible to "lose" the game; when Harry touches a dangerous creature, he simply loses points as he floats back to the last continue point (marked with a red cross) he touched.
Unlike the original Pitfall!, which has a ground level and the underground, Pitfall II has 27 horizontal levels that are predominantly the same height, each being stacked one on top of the other. While these levels span the full eight screens in length, they are not openly accessible all the way across, as some portions are blocked by cave walls that force Harry to travel through other areas in order to progress. Quicksand and tar pits are replaced by rivers and chasms, neither of which is deadly to fall into (though dropping onto a hard surface will cause a loss of points). Balloons allow Harry to ascend to new areas. The game does not have the snakes or crocodiles of the original, but scorpions are still present. New animal hazards include bats, which fly across some screens from left to right; condors, which start by flying right to left, then reverse and fly left to right the remainder of the visit to that screen; Electric eels that swim in the rivers; and frogs that jump over some pits that have ladders, often above where a bat is present.
January 24, 2014
Better than the original in every measurable way
Bigger, longer, and harder than Pitfall I, this game is a monster.
Probably the largest map of any 2600 game. It's a treat to get lost in these caverns.
Seriously, great game. Better than a lot of what came after it.